Life in Santiago

Well, this is the view from our hotel room! Pretty amazing, isn’t it. Today was a good day to view the Andes as it was fairly clear. Unfortunately, with a city of 5 million and lots of cars, smog is an issue. I believe that they are starting to be concerned for the environment, but it is in the early stages.

So, yesterday, I went grocery shopping as we are staying in a small efficiency type apartment. The challenge is to eat healthy. The selection are not as great as in the states and thank goodness for pictures on the packages! Buying cinnamon was a slight challenge as they spices didn’t have pictures!! However, I saw some cinnamon that was whole and figured out the name that way….in Spanish, it is Canela!

Their fresh vegetables leave a little to be desired. I did buy celery and Dole has the small carrots down here, which I love to snack on. Also, they have eggs…those are stored on shelves for sale and not refrigerated. Also, the milk is in cartons, similiar to soy milk in the states….also, stored on shelves and not refrigerated. Mayonaise is sold in a aluminum type pouch, not jars. I am glad that I remembered to pack my “Hannaford’s Shop & Save Reusable Bag”. As I had to carry my groceries back to our apartment. I think that would make a great advertisement for Hannaford!

Oh, we had a slight tremor today…as in earthquake! I was in the apartment and all of a sudden, the room started shaking. The pictures on the wall were swaying. I asked to make certain it wasn’t my imagination and sure enough, it was tremors. I don’t know how frequent they happen…hopefully, not often.

I have downloaded a computer program from www.skype.com that allows me to call anywhere in the world for around two cents a minute. It is great now that I can be in contact with family and friends over the phone again. If I talk with someone else who has downloaded Skype on their computer, it is free!

My next challenge is doing laundry which I am going to attempt today. Plus, I have started to look for Spanish schools. I think I have found one close to where we are staying. David has started to have private lessons for an hour each day at work.

They work long hours here. The office opens around 8:30, lunch is for an hour and then the day ends at 7:00 PM. That is Monday – Thursday. On Friday they close down at 2:00 PM. Dinner is usually around 8:00 PM. Most of the restaurants don’t open much before 8:00. Although, I have seen some restaurant/bars offer “Happy Hour”.

Speaking of “Happy Hour”. I finally tried a Pisco Sour, which is a popular drink down here. It taste very much like a “Tom Collins” but has a much more powerful kick….one was all I needed!

There are also many familiar places down here….MacDonalds (of course), Burger King, Dunkin Donuts – but they don’t sell bagels :(, Starbucks, TGI Fridays, Ruby Tuesdays, Hooters (!!!!) and Curves. We will try to stay away from most of those places, although I am always up for a good cup of coffee. Nescafe has the market down here in that area. It is a popular coffee, but I must admit that instant isn’t my coffee of choice!

Must run and start the day….until later!

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